Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Deles hopes Congress will fulfill promise of meaningful autonomy for Bangsamoro

As members of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) cast their votes on the draft law, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles today called on legislators to fulfill their historic role in bringing good governance, peace, prosperity and security in Mindanao through the passage of the BBL.
“The Philippines is faced with the historic opportunity to finally fulfill the Constitutional mandate and promise of true autonomy; bring to an end four decades of violent conflict in Mindanao; install and strengthen democratic institutions to overcome deprivation and lawlessness; and collectively embrace and celebrate the richness of our multiple identities, cultures, and narratives,” Deles said.

Ad Hoc Committee chair and Cagayan de Oro second district Representative Rufus Rodriguez said the three-day voting on the BBL will start today and it is expected that by Thursday, May 14, the committee will be able to endorse the measure to the plenary for floor debates and a final vote.

Rodriguez added that the committee will vote section by section on all the 244 sections of the BBL and assured the public of the transparency on the manner of voting.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte had earlier expressed confidence that the committee will be able to pass the proposed measure as scheduled.

Secretary Deles pointed out that fulfilling the promise for a genuine autonomy in the Bangsamoro is an opportunity given to the members of the House in their lifetime.

“I hope and pray that our legislators will wholeheartedly claim - and not deny nor squander - their key role in fulfilling this opportunity that may not come again within our lifetime,” the peace adviser said.

She also emphasized that the constituencies in the Bangsamoro need a law that will embody their best hopes for the future of their children.

“We need a BBL that will embody our best hopes and not give in to our worst fears. In the coming vote on the BBL, please let the children be the focus of attention and concern - their lives, their future - the children of Mamasapano equally with the children of Metro Manila,” Secretary Deles said.

Various civil society organizations (CSOs) and peace advocacy groups have also trooped to the House of Representatives to lobby Congress to pass the BBL. (OPAPP)

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